John Thain

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Axed Merrill Boss Tapped to Head CIT

Spendthrift John Thain gets hands on new troubled company

(Newser) - The CEO who spent $1.2 million renovating his office and arranged $3.6 billion in executive bonuses while his company, Merrill Lynch, was circling the toilet bowl, has just been named CEO of CIT Group. John Thain rises to the top of a public company again a year after... More »

Merrill's Thain Rues Picking Pricey Office Decor Over Ikea

Former Merrill Lynch CEO denies accelerating bonuses

(Newser) - Merrill Lynch's former CEO issued an apology of sorts for spending $1.2 million—including $35,000 for a commode—to redecorate his office as the firm bottomed out, Bloomberg reports. “We decorated it in the style that Merrill Lynch offices were, which was very, very nice,” John... More »

Judge Slams 'Lying' BofA, Merrill Over $3.6B Bonuses

(Newser) - The judge who has refused to sign off on Bank of America's settlement with the SEC over $3.6 billion in bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch delivered a stinging rebuke to both parties in a hearing yesterday, the New York Times reports. The firms "effectively lied to their shareholders"... More »

Thain Accuses BofA of Lying About Bonuses

Fired Merill CEO tries to 'set the record straight' about $3.6B payout

(Newser) - In his first lengthy interview since being pushed out as CEO of Merrill Lynch, John Thain tells the Wall Street Journal that Bank of America—which acquired Merrill in September—is lying about its involvement in the $3.6 billion in bonus payouts that made Thain the poster boy for... More »

Merrill Bonus Beneficiaries May Be Revealed Within Week

BoA argues that disclosure will give competitors an unfair advantage

(Newser) - A decision could come next week on disclosure of the names of Merrill Lynch employees who received $3.6 billion in bonuses last year, despite the firm posting a $15.8 billion fourth-quarter loss, Bloomberg reports. Bank of America argued today against release, saying its compensation scheme would be a... More »

Trader's $400M Loss Behind Merrill's London 'Irregularity'

(Newser) - A rogue Merrill Lynch trader appears to have posted some $400 million in undisclosed losses in recent months, the Financial Times reports, covering his tracks with the “irregularity” the firm’s London branch is currently investigating. Alexis Stenfors, now suspended, reported $120 million in gains in 2008’s fourth... More »

BofA Boss Ordered to Testify in $3.6B Bonus Probe

Massive perks paid out before pricey bailout

(Newser) - Bank of America chairman Kenneth Lewis has been subpoenaed to testify in the investigation into possible deception of investors over the Merrill Lynch takeover, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is exploring whether the bank broke the law by failing to inform investors of... More »

Busted Fatcats Have Everything —Except a Clue

High-fliers fail to realize that national mood has turned against them

(Newser) - The real problem with Tom Daschle is the $5 million he made on the post-Senate gravy train, not his unpaid taxes, Steven Pearlstein writes in the Washington Post. Daschle, John Thain, and their fellow corporate and government high fliers have run afoul of an American public that's "no longer... More »

No Golden Toilets; Liberals Are On the Case

The rules have changed for the über-rich: Brooks

(Newser) - David Brooks is worried about the rich people. Consider poor John Thain. One minute, it was OK to spend $35,000 on a commode, the next it was an embarrassment, Brooks opines in the New York Times. The same shame could befall countless billionaires who don’t realize the rules... More »

BofA Knew of Merrill's $4B Bonuses

Private bonus agreement backs up Thain's claim that Bank of America was aware of payouts

(Newser) - Ousted Merrill Lynch boss John Thain appears to have been speaking the truth when he said Bank of America knew all about Merrill's controversial December bonuses, the Wall Street Journal reports. A copy of a private bonus agreement obtained by the Journal shows that the two firms agreed on a... More »

Ousted Thain Subpoenaed on Early Merrill Bonuses

NY attorney general also calls BoA exec in probe of banks and TARP funds

(Newser) - New York’s attorney general issued a subpoena today to force John Thain to testify about his acceleration of bonus payments for Merrill Lynch employees last month, the Financial Times reports. A subpoena was also issued to a Bank of America executive thought to have consulted with Thain—then Merrill’... More »

Wall Street Loses Sex Appeal as Big Guns Struggle

Talented people risk little by trying out academia, government

(Newser) - The gravitational pull of Wall Street on the nation's best and brightest students has weakened dramatically, Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in the New York Times, as ridiculous pay packages and the thrill of risk-taking give way to layoffs and anxiety. "The whole cult and ethos of Wall Street, which... More »

Ousted Thain to Repay $1.2M Spent on Office

Lush renovation was a 'mistake,' says ex-Merrill CEO

(Newser) - Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain says he’ll repay the $1.2 million he spent on office renovations last year, Bloomberg reports. “The expenses were incurred over a year ago in a very different environment,” Thain wrote in a memo to Merrill execs. “They were a... More »

Wary of Image, Financial A-Listers Ditch Glitzy Davos

Top bankers, Obama advisers to skip Swiss summit

(Newser) - The swanky Davos economic summit was once a top destination for financial and economic power players, but many are skipping the glitz this year for fear of sending the wrong message in a tanking economic climate, Reuters reports. Treasury secretary-designate Timothy Geithner is sitting out the resort event, as are... More »

Thain Debacle Stings BofA Chief

(Newser) - John Thain may have lost his job running Merrill Lynch, but woe to the CEO who dared merge with him, the Economist reports. Thain no doubt trashed his reputation by failing to tell BofA chief Ken Lewis about looming losses—and handing out multimillion-dollar bonuses in the meantime—but Lewis,... More »

Commode for 35K? Ousted CEO Thain Had Lavish Taste

Details emerge on $1.2M office work

(Newser) - Recently-axed Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain may have steered his company to a $15.4 billion fourth-quarter loss, but he did so from a really nice office. Details are emerging about Thain's $1.2 million redecoration, Bloomberg reports. Among the purchases noted by CNBC: $87,000 for area rugs, $68,... More »

Thain to Leave BofA After Record Losses

(Newser) - Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, who became a top exec at Bank of America when the firms merged last year, will resign from his position, CNBC reports. The move comes a week after Bank of America posted its first quarterly loss in 17 years, widely attributed to poor information... More »

BofA Takes Another $20B Bailout on $10B Merrill Loss

Crippled by unforeseen losses and falling stock price, B of A puts its hand out. Again.

(Newser) - Bank of America, sucker-punched by unforeseen losses from its takeover of Merrill Lynch, received another injection of $20 billion from the Treasury, the Wall Street Journal reports, bringing the total cost of BofA’s bailout to $45 billion. BofA’s shares shed 40% of their value in the past seven... More »

Dumbest Gaffes on the Economy

Instead of predicting financial crisis, they hid it

(Newser) - The men who should have been warning us about the impending financial crisis were a wee bit off the mark at times. MSNBC rounds up some of the dumbest things said:
  • "Subprime market problems seem likely to be contained."—Ben Bernanke, March 28, 2007
  • "The fundamentals
... More »

Bailed-Out Bank Execs Made $1.6B Last Year

Execs made average of $2.6 million; Merrill Lynch CEO made $83 million

(Newser) - Banks that are getting taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year, an AP analysis reveals. Benefits at bailed-out institutions like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and JPMorgan Chase included cash bonuses, stock options, personal use of company jets and chauffeurs,... More »

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